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TSequoia01
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:31 PM
Tennis-Henin plays leading role in Williams' absence


ZURICH, Switzerland, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Belgian Justine Henin admitted on Wednesday that the Williams sisters have left the rest of the WTA Tour doubting their own ability.

The 20-year-old world number eight cruised past Israel's Anna Smashnova as she progressed into the quarter-finals of the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich, and later admitted: "If the Williams sisters are not playing a tournament everyone smells a chance to win it. If they are playing it is different.

"It is hard to play against any player if Serena and Venus are not in the tournament because every player believes they have a chance."

Henin, who lost to Swiss hope Myriam Casanova in her opening match at Filderstadt last week, was given a bye into the second round of the Zurich tournament.

She showed no sign of rustiness, however, demolishing her more experienced opponent 6-3 6-1.

"I am very satisfied with my game," she said. "You always have to be patient against Smashnova and I feel I played very well."

The fourth seed, whose side of the draw includes top remaining seed and defending champion Lindsay Davenport, will now face either Russia's Anastasia Myskina or Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva.

Very candid and honest comments from Justine. Seems maybe the domination of Venus and Serena is having an effect on WTA players. :cool:

CC
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:43 PM
Et voila.:p

Helen Lawson
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:48 PM
Nice comments. She makes it sound like you're screwed either way, either one of the Williamses is playing, or if not, everyone kills each other to win!

TSequoia01
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by CC
Et voila.:p

You think something is hidden in Justine's meaning? :confused:

Janet
Oct 16th, 2002, 08:53 PM
Thats what I'm talking about at least Justine told it like it is when the williams is not in a tourament they don't have to look over their shoulder!!!

mboyle
Oct 16th, 2002, 08:59 PM
As long as she is satisfied with her game that is all that matters. Jennifer claims "I wasn't even playing tennis in the first set". :eek: So Justine should do whatever Justine feels it takes to get to number one. (or whatever her goal is).

Smart
Oct 16th, 2002, 09:54 PM
Nice comments. Justine is a smart player.

theheninfan
Oct 16th, 2002, 10:41 PM
Well said Justine! :)
Congrats on your victory today, and good luck in the next round!

Venus Forever
Oct 16th, 2002, 11:17 PM
I just seem to like her more and more every day.:)

Volcana
Oct 17th, 2002, 12:18 AM
Thr crazy-making thing about Justine, the Justine from Berlin and Rome would take this title easily. Since RG, she's been the Queen of Uncertainty.

SF GRASS O 's-Hertogenbosch
SF GRASS O Wimbledon

32 HARD O Stanford
QF HARD O Canadian Open
16 HARD O New Haven
16 HARD O U.S. Open

SF Supreme I Leipzig
16 HARD I Stuttgart
QF HAND I Zurich


Her results are all over the place. They really have been all year. She's played in 20 tournaments. She's finished round-of-16 or worse seven times. Six times were on hard courts. Hard courts are about 40% of the tour. That's a big disadvantage.

Venus Forever
Oct 17th, 2002, 12:30 AM
Well, I do think we know that the hard courts and carpet are not her best surfaces. She really needs to work on them.

Clay and Grass she has no problem.

Sam L
Oct 17th, 2002, 01:12 AM
Justine's game is not suited to hardcourts or carpet, period! And as long as her game on grass and clay keeps improving I don't see why that should be a problem. Yes hardcourts are 40% of the tour and most players are comfortable on hardcourts but less players are on clay and grass. So it balances out, Justine will do very well in Roland Garros and Wimbledons of the future.

Dawn Marie
Oct 17th, 2002, 01:32 AM
Justine is speaking for herself imho because alot of girls I feel think they have a chance against Venus and Serena. I know they feel they have a chance against Justine Henin and imho that is what she should be focusing on. So basically she is saying that she can't win for trying no matter if V or S plays. lmao

Also I don't think Justine should speak for the entire WTA tour. Also I guess in her mind players don't fear her anymore either.

slydevil6142
Oct 17th, 2002, 02:11 AM
LOL, Serena and Venus have really gotten inside some of the players' heads I like how intimindated some of them are now even before they step on the court

It is actually ironic, in a very humorous way when one recalls how a lot of people were UPSET that Venus and Serena even proclaimed they WILL be/were the best , LET ALONE saying that in doing that they will open up an OCEAN between themselves and the rest of the tour on most occations...
I just can't keep from smiling when I recall that Henin, two years ago around FO and Wimbledon time said, after defeating Venus on clay, and when asked in reference about venus : "I am not afraid of anyone".

:)

CC
Oct 17th, 2002, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by TSequoia01


You think something is hidden in Justine's meaning? :confused:
I mean she is stating what has been so painfully or pleasantly obvious --- depending on how you look at it --- for quite a while.

Volcana
Oct 17th, 2002, 03:04 AM
The only carpet tournament is Toray Pan Pacific.

What surface os OZ played on?

What surface is Sydney played on?

Fingon
Oct 17th, 2002, 03:24 AM
some people just like to read too much into things.

All what Justine said was to acknowledge that right now the Williams are the best players in the tour, and she said that players are eager to take advantage when they are not playing.

She never said she thinks Venus and Serena are unbeatable.

In fact there is an article that appeared in the Quebec tennis magazine in french, and there Justine says that she thinks that Venus and Serena are very strong but their advantage is mostly on the mental side, and she thinks she, and the other players need to learn how to challenge them, she said she has another weapons and needs to believe in herself.

Also, somebody said that players don't fear Justine anymore, did they ever? :confused:

Some people, like tsequoia can read a comment and take it in a mature way, others (no need to name them) will always see a conspiracy everywhere.

DutchieGirl
Oct 17th, 2002, 04:33 AM
Originally posted by Volcana
The only carpet tournament is Toray Pan Pacific.

What surface os OZ played on?

What surface is Sydney played on?

duh, all Aussie tourneys are on rebound ace - which is pretty much hard court, but it's a little more "bouncy"... there are more carpet tourneys that just the Pan pacs!

DutchieGirl
Oct 17th, 2002, 04:47 AM
ie Leipzig and Moscow are listed as carpet also!

Starry
Oct 17th, 2002, 08:34 AM
Justine does pretty well on rebound ace

The Crow
Oct 17th, 2002, 09:31 AM
And I though she was playing Mikaelian next :rolleyes:

supremeross
Oct 17th, 2002, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Dawn Marie
Justine is speaking for herself imho because alot of girls I feel think they have a chance against Venus and Serena. I know they feel they have a chance against Justine Henin and imho that is what she should be focusing on. So basically she is saying that she can't win for trying no matter if V or S plays. lmao

Also I don't think Justine should speak for the entire WTA tour. Also I guess in her mind players don't fear her anymore either.



I think Justine is saying things publicly that perhaps alot of other players say privately. Justine is privy to a lot more locker room, practice court talk than we are and has a better feel for what the other players are saying.

Serendy Willick
Oct 17th, 2002, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Fingon
some people just like to read too much into things.

All what Justine said was to acknowledge that right now the Williams are the best players in the tour, and she said that players are eager to take advantage when they are not playing.

She never said she thinks Venus and Serena are unbeatable.

In fact there is an article that appeared in the Quebec tennis magazine in french, and there Justine says that she thinks that Venus and Serena are very strong but their advantage is mostly on the mental side, and she thinks she, and the other players need to learn how to challenge them, she said she has another weapons and needs to believe in herself.

Also, somebody said that players don't fear Justine anymore, did they ever? :confused:

Some people, like tsequoia can read a comment and take it in a mature way, others (no need to name them) will always see a conspiracy everywhere.


Well its nice to know that someone else on the tour finally thinks that the sisters sucess is contributed to a strong mentallity instead of the media and other people tying to compare them with the Incredible Hulk all of the time.:)

Aloysius
Oct 17th, 2002, 03:45 PM
Williams fans like Justine because she concedes defeat to their faves?

Frankly, I think Justine's not doing herself any favours. If you don't go out there thinking you can win no matter who you're facing, then why even bother playing?

gweeny
Oct 17th, 2002, 04:49 PM
I am a great fan of Venus and Serena. But it is sad that players like Justine have all but given up on beating the Williams sisters in a consistent manner.

I fear that if the Williams sisters continue dominating, people are going to turn off female tennis. (I like NBA, but with the lakers always winning, basketball has become less interesting)

I am not saying that Serena and Venus should play worse, (it's not there fault that they are so good) but I would hope that players like Justine Henin would not go into a match against one of the Williams sisters and concede defeat.

Improve what you need to improve. (your serve etc)

I think they are beatable, even Serena, but you have to have some confidence.

Larrybid
Oct 17th, 2002, 05:20 PM
The quote attributed to Henin does not say that anyone concedes defeat, and it certainly didn't say she herself conceded defeat. The recognition that other players have a better chance (not NO chance) of winning the whole tournament without a Williams in the draw is simply common sense. Some folks would like players to beleive that they have just as good a chance of beating a Williams as anybody. I can assure you that no player on tour is so far gone as to beleive that. If players beleived all players are crated equal they wouldn't care about seeding...and we all know players care very much about seeding and which player is in their section of the draw.

So yes, players are more excited about their chances of winning when the two top players are not in the draw. This is neither suprising, nor something to lament. And it doesn't necesarily reflect badly on the players on tour who feel that way...it only means they are grounded in reality, as opposed to being in denial.

harloo
Oct 17th, 2002, 05:30 PM
Justine is one of the few who has beaten Serena this year, so I don't think she is saying that she can't challenge them. I think she is saying they are at a level right now that the rest of the tour isn't at the moment, and that's pretty much true. Do I think she will challenge the sisters in the future? Yes.

IMO, Justine is new to the pressure of being in the top 10. You have to get use to being at a different level than the average player. It's gonna take a little time, but I think her and Kim will one day pose a serious threat to the sisters domination. However, right now Justine is right on the money.